Increasing the daily intake of lycopene-rich foods could help save the life of people with heart failure. Researchers at the University of Kentucky studied 40 patients with heart failure who were randomly assigned to regular care or regular care plus more than 29 milligrams of lycopene in vegetable juice. After 30 days, blood lycopene levels were highest in the women from the treatment group, who also showed a corresponding lower C-reactive protein (CRP) level, an indicator of reduced inflammation.
In Perspective: Inflammation is a major contributor to the ongoing disease process of heart failure. Antioxidants, such as lycopene, appear to slow the progression of heart failure by inhibiting damaging inflammatory processes.